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Myth 1: It happens overnight

On average, most women's menopausal symptoms last around four years from their last period, but one in every 10 women experiences them for up to 12 years.

Myth 2: The symptoms are purely physical

Peri-menopause and menopause can lead to many different symptoms, 34 menopausal symptoms in total, ranging from physical to emotional, psychological and sexual, because your hormones affect so many areas of your body.

Myth 3: It’s all about the hot flushes

Hot flushes and night sweats are very common. But bladder weakness is one of the 'hidden' worries. “The low levels of oestrogen can cause the bladder to become thinner and less elastic and the muscles that support the pelvic floor become weaker too, resulting in bladder leakage, or you may be prone to recurrent urinary infections such as cystitis

Myth 4: Menopause begins at 50

While the average age of menopause in Ireland is 51, a woman can start to experience menopausal symptoms between the ages of 45 and 55. And around 10% of women under the age of 40 experiences premature menopause.

Myth 5: It will affect your sex life adversely

Many women do find that their libido reduces during menopause. This can be down to many factors, including fluctuating hormones levels, symptoms such as vaginal dryness and the emotional impact of going through these changes. A minority of women actually experience increased libido, as their levels of testosterone - the hormone which improves libido - can increase for a period of time before declining. It can also be very liberating for women to no longer have their periods.

Myth 6: You can ditch the contraception immediately

Although women's fertility starts to fall after about the age of 35, late pregnancy can and does happen - even after the menopause. It's recommended that women who reach menopause at 50 or over should use contraception for 12 months after their last period, while women who reach menopause under 50 should continue to use contraception for two years after their last period.

Myth 7: HRT is the last resort

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective treatment available to relieve symptoms caused by the menopause, according to current guidelines from NICE and the British Menopause Society. There are different types of hormone replacement therapies and doses available; if a woman is prescribed the the right type and dose for her, then her symptoms can really improve, as it replaces the hormones that she's missing. The Menopause Hub doctors prescribe body identical hormones, which are more effective than some older types of HRT, as they have fewer side effects.

Myth 8: Life won't be the same again

It’s hard to believe it, but there are many ways we can enjoy having a healthy menopause. Eating a healthy balanced diet that's low in sugar and avoids processed foods is really important. Finding a regular exercise that works for you is also beneficial for your hearts, bone strength and wellbeing. If you're experiencing bladder weakness, you can also work some pelvic floor exercises into your routine.

The menopause is still a real taboo and The Menopause Hub is actively trying to break that. We all need to work together to change this, by talking about our different experiences and how we feel, to our friends and family. Pease don’t ever feel alone. Pick up the phone to us now on 01-210 7948